I just want to add my two-cents to this, because it isn’t as complicated as the homophobes would like us all to believe.

‘Don’t Say Gay’ senator is asked to leave Tennessee restaurant

His [Stacy Campfield] hometown newspaper, the Knoxville News Sentinel, reported that on Sunday, Campfield walked into the Bistro at the Bijou restaurant for brunch and was told he wasn’t welcome by owner Martha Boggs.”He’s gone from being stupid to dangerous,” Boggs told the paper. “It’s just my way of standing up to a bully.”

I think we all knew what was coming next…

Campfield stood by his assertions in a blog post and mused about his treatment at the restaurant:

“I just figured this is just another example of the open minded tolerant left. They claim tolerances for divergent points of view…..Until someone actually has one. Then they don’t know how to handle it.”

This is the trope.  If you can’t tolerate my hate mongering bigotry then you aren’t really so tolerant after all are you?  But when you ask people to look the other way at hate mongering, at bigotry, you aren’t asking them to be tolerant.  You are asking them to be indifferent.

Tolerance you see exists within a context of mutual respect and what gay people are really struggling for is respect.  Maybe you personally think same-sex coupling is just a bit…weird.  Maybe your religion forbids same-sex coupling.  But at least respect our right to live our lives, according to our own human needs, according to our own judgement of what is moral, is righteous.  Indifference on the other hand, means you don’t care.

You don’t care if gay kids kill themselves.  You don’t care if gay people are beaten and murdered for being gay.  You don’t care if same-sex couples are separated by deportation because they couldn’t get married.  You don’t care if same-sex couples are kept apart at critical moments, such as emergency room visits, simply because they are gay.  You don’t care if gay people are denied services, housing, a job, simply for being gay.  You don’t care.

Bigots like Stacey Campfield, Brian Fischer, Tony Perkins, Maggie Gallagher and Brian Brown and others would like it very much if people didn’t care about the damage they do to their fellow Americans and to their country.  Which is why they’re trying to redefine tolerance as indifference.  But tolerance is not indifference.  Tolerance helps a diverse community, a diverse nation, get along with itself.  Indifference is rust on our common bonds as fellow Americans, as neighbors.  That is why bigots like indifference.